The Drug that is Taking Australia’s Streets In Pandemic Measures Why should people not use the drug methamphetamine or otherwise known as Ice? The rapid increase of popularity in the drug Ice (methamphetamine) is gripping Australia’s population in pandemic proportions. The recent publicity about the growth of ice usage has been alarming. Every day there is a new explicit case, graphic image or documentary being aired by the media to frighten and discourage society from using the drug called Ice. The dangers of Ice usage would appear to be rising and are being seen locally, nationally and globally.
But despite numerous warnings it would appear that the numbers of ice addicts are still increasing and the consequences are destroying the Australian society, financially crippling individuals, affecting their personal health and their families. What is the answer to slowing down this rapid increase Of Ice? The drug Ice mainly comes from China and is smuggled into Australia via other Asian countries such as the Philippines and Indonesia. Users now prefer crystal methamphetamine because the reactions are more powerful than locally produced powder forms of the drug.
Pure ice is scribed as a coarse crystal powder that is clear, colorless and bitter tasting. All forms of methamphetamine stimulate the production of natural chemicals called dopamine in the brain. Methamphetamine stimulates the brain to release dopamine and serotonin rapidly and produces the euphoric “rush” or “flash” that many users experience. Ice, aka the ‘party drug, when taken achieves that ‘high feeling’, which is attractive to young adolescents when going out to socialism and party. Its effects are similar to having a win in gambling, having sex, playing video games and eating food.
When an individual suddenly stops using the drug, dopamine and serotonin levels fall away with a corresponding drop in moods. The resulting moods from this are depression, sadness and despair. Why is the drug so dangerous? “Because the pleasure fades quickly, users often take repeated doses, in a “binge and crash” pattern. “l Its consumption has grown significantly and is starting to have alarm ins consequences on families. Repeated methamphetamine use can easily lead to addiction – a chronic, relapsing disease that leads to compulsive drug seeking and use. According to the 01 3 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (MINDS), 7% of Australians aged 14 and above reported using amphetamine or methamphetamine at least once in their lifetime and 2. 1 % reported recent use”2 Teenagers need to be informed so that when they are faced with the decision, they are fully aware of the price of trying ice. It would appear that there is no middle ground, you either never try the drug, or you try it once and you are instantly hooked. Depression can lead to the feeling of being trapped and then to suicide leaving behind devastated loved ones.
Ice creates paranoia and illustrations that trigger violence that can in turn traumatized many families who are trying to help. What do you do when your son smashes your window, injures your family dog and digs holes in the backyard because he thinks there are bodies in there? This was Debit’s experience. Debbie lives in Victoria with her son who, like a growing numbers of Australians, he is now an ice addict. Having an ice addicted family member affects the whole family and community. The use of Ice has a an effect on the children of users. Young teenagers and children too are being influenced into using Ice. The children e are now seeing are witnessing a higher degree of trauma. The psychosis ice causes means horrific things can happen to children. There is a much higher incidence of abuse and physical violence. “3 Not only are sisters, brothers, parents, grand-parents and friends caught up in the effects of the addiction, Ice addiction is a gradual grinding down of the border between fantasy and reality. Many users feel isolated as they can get caught up in the wrong crowd and feel too embarrassed to ask for family or friends help. Like many drugs, the use Of ice comes at a high price to society. But is the
Government doing enough and getting behind the media campaign to educate Australian citizens of the potential dangers of Ice? Governments spend millions on medical treatment centre and rehabilitation for those who are not able to work or hold down jobs because of their addictions. Individuals that are addicted will use their savings and eventually lose their career. Most turn to dishonest options to raise money for their habit, like lying to their parents and stealing or by becoming pimps and prostitutes on the streets and in brothels. ‘ ‘The ice problem requires a whole of government and whole of society response.
Health experts, educators, police, community leaders, and importantly parents all have a major role to play. “4 The value of one kilo of cut Ice on the streets is reportedly worth $323,000 ADD (Australian Dollars). Ice is dealt in points (0. 1 gram) because it is very powerful and only a small amount is required to have an effect. The Ice market in Australia is a very profitable business and would attract many overseas investors. Customs officers often witness attempts of people trying to smuggle Ice into Australia, millions is spent trying to crack down on the drug and keep it out of Australia.
The police force is reportedly struggling to keep the effects of violence through increased domestic violence spikes under control. “Funding is going down but need is going up. I don’t think we have the capacity to respond to ice. “5 Ambulances are called frequently called to cases of ice overdoses. Medical costs associated with rehabilitation are “costing the community a fortune”6. In some remote communities in Australia there are no facilities to help ice users to overcome their addiction. This calls for the Government to spend money on facilities such as half way houses, hospitals and obliteration establishments.
The demand for rehabilitation, is starting outstrip supply. “When he stops using for a week or so there’s this window period when he knows he needs help and wants his old life back, but there’s never a place available in a public rehab at the time. There’s always a waiting list. “7 Ice destroys the body mentally and physically. There are numeral health side effects from the dangerous drug. Ice increases the risk of a stroke, anxiety, depression and violent behavior. Overdoses are commonly seen at hospitals where the individual’s body cannot handle the strain and gives out.
People can sometimes get into a habit and go for a whole week without sleeping or showering and many won’t eat when high on ice so they lose excessive amounts of weight resulting in a haggard appearance. Their faces become concave, dirty and covered in sores that they itch very often because of the common hallucination side effect from ice, “they feel like bugs are crawling under their skin. “8 Their personal hygiene no longer takes priority over the need for another hit. Their bodies become brittle and empty as individuals won’t eat or cannot afford to eat, instead they just get high on CE.
People are never going to stop other people from doing anything. It depends on their resilience, their atmosphere, how they are treated, and what they are going through in life. Because there are people out there that don’t know how to be helped and they don’t know how to ask the question to be helped. There is help out there and those who can guide them and educate them into making better choices but it all comes down to the individual. Education for youngsters and adults of the dangerous drug is the only way to eliminate this problem. References: Legged, K. (2014, December 6).